Global Reach: Grantee Partners

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Passerelles Numériques Philippines


According to the 2016 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) conducted by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), almost 10% of the 39 million Filipinos aged 6 to 24 years were out of school children and youth (OSCY). Of these 3.9 million OSCYs, 87.3% were between 16 and 24 years old. The proportion of OSCYs was higher among females. The same report finds that the most common reasons for OSCYs not attending school were marriage or other family matters (42%), followed by high costs for education and financial concerns (20%) and the lack of personal interest (20%). Not attending and/or finishing school decreases the chances of securing a decent job, thus perpetuating a cycle of poverty. In addition to these alarming numbers, the 2016 Asian Development Outlook found that Filipino college graduates took about a year to eventually secure a job. One of the major reasons for this situation is that many graduates are not equipped with industry-relevant skills, especially in the industries related to science and technology. At the same time the internationally competitive IT/BPO industry is one of the strongest drivers of the Philippines economy today. It accounts for about 10% of the global IT/BPO business with very strong revenue forecasts for the next years (more than double to USD 55 billion by 2020 from USD 25 billion in 2016). Passerelles numériques Philippines (PNP) uses and leverages the potential of the IT industry and makes it accessible for at-risk young people.


Passerelles numériques (PN) is a non-profit organization under French law, operating in three Asian countries: Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and locally registered in the Philippines. PN’s mission is to enable at-risk young people in low-resource settings to build their employability through education in the digital industry, and to leverage their potential. PN’s endeavour is to allow them and their families to escape poverty in a sustainable way, and to contribute to the social and economic empowerment of their communities. PN was founded in 2005 by Virginie Legrand and Alain Goyé in Cambodia. Supported by Accenture and Enfants du Mékong, it started with the opening of a training center in Phnom Penh and a first intake of 25 students. After operations in Cambodia proved successful (2-year training in System & Network Administration and Web Programming), PN decided to replicate its model. In 2009, PN opened its second centre in Cebu City, the Philippines (partnering with the University of San Carlos (USC), offering a 2.5-year USC and PN certified training in Software application development and web development). In 2010, the third centre in Da Nang, Vietnam was opened (3-year training in Software Development and Testing). PN strives to enable at least 90% of their students to become professionally successful, as well as to reduce gender inequality through selecting a minimum of 50% of young women as trainees. Central to all efforts is a thorough selection process of students over several months, and dialogue with the trainees and their families, resulting in very high retention rates (95-100%). Employment guidance for all students is another factor of success: well above 90% of them find employment within two months after graduation. Since the opening of the PNP training centre, 402 students have graduated. According to a 2017 alumni survey, the average salary of PNP alumni is 2.5 times higher than the minimum wage, and almost 6 times higher than the average salary of their families (minimum wage/month: $166; average salary of families/month: $69; average monthly salary of PNP alumni: $406). Students pay back to the communities around them during the training with volunteering activities; after the training, many of them contribute with a certain amount of their salaries to the training costs of PNP.

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 1st grant to Passerelles numériques will support 20 students 17-24 years, 50% of them young women, to start and to advance their 2.5 years training in IT, with a focus on Software application development, web development and coding. Yong people will participate in technical IT training, job readiness training and Professional Life Training, the latter equipping them with high-level soft skills needed in a highly competitive company/work environment. They will graduate from the training with a certificate certified and licensed by the University of San Carlos and the Philippines’ government.

Where is Passerelles Numériques Philippines?

Primary Location: Cebu, Philippines


Funded Since: 2018

Grantee shoutouts!
EMpower and Credit Suisse host Learning Exchange in Jakarta: Gaining Access to Decent and Skilled Work
Posted 18 January 2019
You can support our work with Passerelles Numériques Philippines and our other grantee partners.

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.